My Work

An Introduction
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Registered Dance/Movement Therapist my work blends clinical experience and embodied awareness. I welcome you to engage your body's resources as well as your mind, emotions, imagination and spirit to transform your challenges. As I guide you towards compassionate awareness of your body's messages (symptoms, sensations, feelings, memories and images) you can discover your innate body wisdom. In leading you to explore your challenges via movement, dance and stillness, you will develop more of a relationship with your body and more channels for self-expression. Learning kinesthetic and creative pathways to open the communication between parts of yourself can help you feel integrated and whole.

Discover: We begin each session with a brief verbal or movement check-in. I invite you to become mindful and present to what is happening inside you: your body sensations, thoughts, images, and feelings. We may then go on a journey of following what is emerging within you. Alternately, we may do some physical warm up with simple, open-ended movement explorations such as finding ways to open your joints or waking up different body parts. It is also a time for developing resources such as grounding, creating safety and discovering expressive possibilities to support you in going deeper.


Explore: Here we focus on the theme that arises from the warm up. At first, I will guide you or suggest various ways to do this. We may approach an issue in stillness. You might visualize or draw an image by focusing on a sensation, feeling or body part. You may translate a theme directly into movement which could take a subtle or dramatic form. Improvisation and role-playing (using creative movement, sounds, dance and dialogue) are major elements throughout the explorations. Personal material can be worked with from a concrete or metaphorical level. Over time you will become more confident in following your own intuition and creative expression.

Integrate: This time is for clarifying and solidifying the significant elements from the session. You may integrate what you experienced through drawing, writing or speaking. You might expand upon a desired quality from the exploration (such as assertion or playfulness) by finding ways to move it in your body. Here we often find something concrete for you to practice throughout your week.


When I work with couples, I use a combination of practical communication skills and experiential exploration to create more understanding and resources within the relationship. Often the causes of repeated misunderstandings are rooted within each individual's unresolved history. With an atmosphere of safety, I can guide you in a conscious experience of a relationship pattern to discover what is unconsciously triggering you and your partner. This healing process can create loving empathy and can soften or change ongoing patterns. I encourage exercises at home to practice what is learned in the session.

Details of My Work
I work with adult individuals and couples in my private practice in Emeryville, California. I usually see individual clients as a primary therapist. I can do adjunct therapy if you already have an individual therapist, but want to address a particular issue with expressive or movement-oriented work. I can support you in resolving specific short-term issues or in ongoing therapeutic work. My sessions are usually 50 or 80 minutes long. I also facilitate short and long term dance/movement therapy groups and workshops. Please call if you have any questions or would like a brief phone consultation free of charge: 510 255-1141.

Copyright 2010 by Ariana Candell, MFT, R-DMT
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